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FIFA's Russia ban 'could face CAS challenge'

Sports law expert says there are doubts as to whether such a challenge would succeed

FIFA’s decision to ban Russia from all competitions could be challenged in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), though there are doubts about whether such a challenge would succeed, according to an expert in sports law.

FIFA, along with UEFA, announced that they had decided that all Russian teams would be “suspended from participation in both FIFA and UEFA competitions until further notice”.

But Gregory Ioannidis, course leader of the international sports law LLM at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK said in a social media post that FIFA’s decision could be challenged at CAS (pictured).

Ioannidis added that it was “a difficult matter for any CAS panel given that FIFA statutes prohibit interference with politics and the Russian Football Federation may attempt to argue that followed the rules imposed on it and that it played no part in the decision for military action.

“On the other hand, FIFA statutes are wide open for a broad interpretation and FIFA may argue that the participation of Russian teams in competitions may cause anger and distress and, therefore, may bring the game into disrepute. That said, the standard of proof is set high and may not be met by the Russian football authorities.”

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